The basic structure is 3mm hardboard, one 25mm sheet of blue Craft Foam (held on with No More Nails), and then the river is cut out of a second sheet of 25mm blue Craft Foam using a Hot Wire Foam Factory hot knife.
The river ends are centred 150mm in from one corner on a 600mm tile, and are 50mm wide at the bottom and 100mm at the top. At least in theory, this means any river tiles should join up! I've also filled the river to a depth of about 1cm with lightweight filler (you can use Woodland Scenics Foam Filler if you're made of money, but B&Q or Homebase will do a much cheaper and identical version for much less). As yet, I haven't added water effect - still working on that!
I've also taken a 1mm deep x 8mm wide nick out of each end of all four sides of the underlying hardboard, centred 75mm in from the edge, into which I will (eventually) superglue a small neodymium magnet.
As I mentioned before the tiles are painted with cheap Warm Tan emulsion, and the river beds with Army Painter Angel Green and a finer mist of PSC Warpaints English Uniform.
|You'll notice I need to vacuum!|
Time to start gluing grass. The base grass, and the one I ensure is on all the edges, if nothing else, is my favourite Javis Summer mix. One £1.75 pack will pretty much do a whole tile if you reuse everything that drops off. The glue is EvoStik Super PVA in a 1L tub - no sense at ALL in buying 'modellers PVA' when you have 24 square feet to cover. It DOES dry transparent, but you may have to be patient if you've been over generous.
I'll admit that I cheated - two of the plain tiles, at least for now, have Javis grass sheet (which comes in a 600mm x 1200mm roll) affixed to it with No More Nails, 'cause I'm lazy.
Partway done - you can see the grass I've tapped off the tile (by standing it on end, tapping the edge of the tile on the table, and then rapping the back with my knuckles) in the bottom left corner. The dark green is Woodland Scenics Underbrush - basically minced green foam. This I've spread on, pushed quite hard into the coat of PVA, and then sprayed liberally with unscented hairspray to add extra stick.
At this point we're almost done - just a few patches of different colour grasses along the riverbank for variation.
Next stage is to let it dry until last thing tonight, and spray liberally with matt varnish/sealant. I'm using GW Purity Seal as Hobbycraft had two cans left they were flogging off! (Yes, yes, I know... I wasn't buying any more GW!)